January 3, 1991
San Antonio reveals its team name - the "Riders" - and its Vice President
of Football Operations - John Peterson, Player Personnel Director of the Ottawa Rough Riders for the past two years,
and a scout before that with the Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks and the San Diego Chargers.
January 10, 1991
Lee Corso, with a background of 28 years of collegiate and
professional coaching, is named General Manager of the Orlando Thunder.
January 10, 1991
Raleigh-Durham announces its nickname, head coach
and administrative leader. The team will be known as the "Skyhawks", Roman Gabriel will relinquish his
General Manager duties to become Head Coach and Wayne Thompson, a 15 year management executive in Skyhawks owner George
Shinn's Ruttledge Education System, is appointed Vice President of Administration.
January 11, 1991
The Barcelona Dragons announce their management team, with
the appointments of Andrew Brandt, former in-house Counsel and Special Assistant to the President of the World League, as
General Manager, and Jack Bicknell, who elevated Boston College to national prominence during the 1980's, as head coach.
January 15, 1991
Montreal Machine appoints its front office/on-field hierarchy,
Gordon Cahill, for 14 years a scout for the Montreal Alouettes/Concordes and the British Columbia Lions and Calgary Stampeders
of the CFL, will be the team's General Manager. Jacques Dussault, with international coaching experience in Canada, the U.S.
and France, will be Head Coach.
January 16, 1991
League announces its fifth television package, as Germany's Tele 5 agrees to carry nationally all of the Frankfurt
Galaxy's games, as well as WLAF playoffs and the World Bowl.
January 17, 1991
Bruce Dworshak, a veteran sports publicist and administrator familiar with international
sports organizations and competitions, is named European Coordinator of the WLAF.
January 18, 1991
League announces that Cal Lepore, with over 35 years of
officiating experience in college and professional football, will be its supervisor of officials: and that Phil Hollingsworth,
with a producer-director sports TV background, has been named Coordinator of Video Services.
Riley, the 1990 Head Coach of the Year in the CFL, who won his second Grey Cup Championship in 1990 with the Winnipeg Blue
Bombers, is named Head Coach of the San Antonio Riders.
January 28, 1991
The Frankfurt Galaxy appoints Jack Elway, who coached Top 20-ranked college
football teams at Stanford and San Jose State as its head coach.
February 4, 1991
Larry Kennan, a 25 year coaching veteran who was one fo the architects of the
Los Angeles Raiders' Super Bowl XVIII victory and most recently was offensive coordinator of the Indianapolis Colts, is named
Head Coach of the London Monarchs.
February 7, 1991
The Coca-Cola Company, in partnership with local Coca-Cola bottlers in World League franchise cities, becomes
the thirs charter corporate sponsor of the league, siging a three year arrangement to be the exclusive soft drink, juice and
sports drink supplier to the League and its teams.
February 8, 1991
First-ever WLAF Owners/Administrative meetings, comprising all League officials
and the owners, executives, coaches and administrative staff from all 10 charter franchises, begin at the Radisson Plaza Hotel
Orlando in Orlando, FL.
unique-player allocation system requiring World League teams to choose one of 10 predetermined sequences in a draft matrix
is revealed by League President Mike Lynn.
February 10, 1991
Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks Head Coach Roman Gabriel draws first choice in the first
ever WLAF draft selection system and selects the "H" position in the draft matrix, which begins with wide receiver
as the first choice.
WLAF Will Succeed With Tight Rein on Dollar, League President Believes
— Considering the history of alternative professional football leagues, you'd think Mike Lynn might be a little apprehensive
about starting the World League of American Football.
Instead, the former Minnesota Vikings general manager is convinced
that the WLAF will succeed when it makes its debut in 10 stadiums and five countries next month.
February 14, 1991
The NY/NJ Knights make the first selection on the first
day of the WLAF draft and choose 6-3, 290lb offensive tackle Caesar Rentie of Oklahoma.
February 22, 1991
League announces television agreements with Le Reseau Des
Sports (RDS), the French speaking sports cable network for the Province of Quebec and The Sports Network (TSN), the English
equivalent of RDS to carry full coverage of all 10 Montreal Machine games, with a potential viewing audience thoughout Quebec
and Canada of 7.4 million viewers.
February 24, 1991
League concludes its first annual draft, choosing defensive backs and assigns 40 Operation Discovery players
to its 10 teams.
supplemental draft s conducted of two groups of players: those from a list of "Coach's Five" players who were unsigned
but recommended, five per team, by the league's 10 coaches; and previously signed but undrafted players. 56 players
NFL players are added to WLAF teams in an Enhancement Allocation Draft.
March 4, 1991
Channel 4, Great Britain's premier network for American football coverage, reaches
an agreement with the WLAF to televise games every Saturday throughout the 1991 season.
March 23, 1991
WLAF begins its inaugural season with weekend games in Frankfurt,
Germany; Sacramento, California; Birmingham, Alabama; Barcelona, Spain and Orlando, Florida.
Pro Football; Live From Barcelona: W.L.A.F.'s Kickoff on TV
By GERALD ESKENAZI
March 24, 1991
It sounds like an all-comedy radio station.
But W.L.A.F. stands for one of the more intriguing experiments in sports history: the World League of American
Football, the first trans-Atlantic major sports league.
It is a league created as much
on Madison Avenue as in the Park Avenue offices of the National Football League. And it is here. It opened last night in Frankfurt,
Germany; Birmingham, Ala., and Sacramento, Calif. ABC kicks off its network coverage today by traveling to Barcelona, Spain,
where the New York/New Jersey Knights play. And tomorrow night, the USA cable network will televise San Antonio at Orlando.
The helmets and uniforms have been designed with an eye toward retail sales. Thus, the silver-and-black that
helps the Los Angeles Raiders of football and Los Angeles Kings of hockey to lead their leagues in hawking jackets and caps
has been assigned to the Knights, who have added a touch of gold.
Indeed, each of the logos
in the 10-team W.L.A.F. has been designed by the league and doled out to individual clubs: the Knights, the Birmingham Fire,
the Orlando Thunder, the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks, the Sacramento Surge, the San Antonio Riders in the States; the Montreal
Machine in Canada and the Barcelona Dragons, Frankfurt Galaxy, and London Monarchs in Europe.
each franchise costs $11 million (payable over two years), the new league actually is being underwritten by the N.F.L. Only
the Chicago Bears and the Phoenix Cardinals refused to kick in, so to speak, to get the W.L.A.F. off the ground.
By creating the new entity, with salaries paid by the league and not individual clubs (only a few players
will earn as much as $100,000), the N.F.L. has been able to do away with the threat of a rival spring league that could jack
up existing salaries. As important, though, is the potential opening of new worldwide markets keyed to licensing and television
But overseas television revenue for the N.F.L. lags behind merchandise sales. It
has reached about $3 million. By going into key European markets now, the N.F.L. hopes to nurture the seeds for many more
viewers who would watch American-style football.
Thus, the World League. It also fills
a television void in the States: the March-April-May Sunday afternoons that ABC, for example, would like to program with fare
that might gain higher ratings. In fact, ABC and NBC proposed a spring league idea to the N.F.L. two years ago.
ABC has paid the World League about $24 million for two years. It will televise a game-of-the-week Sunday
afternoons. The USA network will pay about $26 million for the first two years of its four-year deal. In return, USA will
televise all the remaining games, except those played between two European teams in Europe. The cable network's games will
be on Saturday and Monday nights, which will include a game-of-the-week for the 56 million homes that have the service. In
addition, it will have regional games of more limited interest.
The league has been able
to start fresh with several innovative rules. They are designed for speed and for viewer interest, and include the following:
* Mandatory no-huddle offenses with 35 seconds between plays.
* In overtime,
a team must score at least 6 points to gain an outright decision. In other words, a team scoring first with a field goal does
not automatically win. At the end of the period, though, the team with more points wins.
No instant replay.
* Two-point conversions.
between the sideline and the quarterback will be broadcast over the air.
Will it work?
If enthusiasm matters, it has a chance. Just listen to Robert F. X. Sillerman, the Knights' owner (and also
50 percent owner of radio station WNEW): "I'm going to make a wild statement. Twenty years from now we'll be here and
people will be talking about whether the top draft pick will go to us or the N.F.L. Our television revenue will be greater
than the N.F.L.'s."
Chart: "Dragons, Fire and Monarchs, etc." Barcelona
Dragons Coach: Jack Bicknell. Spent last 10 seasons as head coach of Boston College. Key player: Paul Palmer, ex-1st-round
runner for Kansas City Chiefs. Stadium: Montjuic (70,000). Birmingham Fire Coach: Chan Gailey. Former Broncos' offensive coordinator.
Key player: Brent Pease, first quarterback chosen, former Seahawks' back-up. Stadium: Legion Field (72,000). Frankfurt Galaxy
Coach: Jack Elway. Ex-head coach of Stanford and San Jose State; father of Broncos' John Elway. Key players: Quarterback Mike
Perez, former Giants' seventh-round pick. Stadium: Waldstadion (55,000). London Monarchs Coach: Larry Kennan. Was Colts' offensive
coordinator last two seasons. Key player: Running back Judd Garrett, one of the three Garrett brothers from Princeton now
in World League. Stadium: Wembley (63,500). Montreal Machine Coach: Jacques Dussault. Key player: Ex-Giants' kicker Bjorn
Nittmo. Stadium: Olympic Stadium (61,000). N.Y./N.J. Knights Coach: Mouse Davis. Created "run-'n'-shoot" offense
with Lions' as offensive coordinator the last two seasons. Key player: Quarterback Todd Hammel from Stephen F. Austin. Stadium:
Giants Stadium (76,000). Orlando Thunder Coach: Don Matthews. Had extensive, successful career in Canadian League. Key player:
Quarterback Kerwin Bell, former Florida star. Stadium: Florida Citrus Bowl (70,000). Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks Coach: Roman
Gabriel. Former outstanding Rams and Eagles quarterback. Key player: Mark Maye, former North Carolina quarterback. Stadium:
Carter-Finley Stadium (45,000). Sacramento Surge Coach: Kay Stephenson. Was N.F.L.'s youngest head coach as top man for Bills.
Key player: Pete Najarian, former Tampa Bay linebacker. Stadium: Hughes Stadium (23,000). San Antonio Riders Coach: Mike Riley.
Key players: Garrett brother tandem of Jason throwing to John. Stadium: Alamo Stadium (25,000). Drawings: Team helmets
The Adventure Begins
After years of preparation and
waiting, the World League of American Football kicked off on March 23, 1991, and the opening weekend was an historic occasion as memorable
games were played on both sides of the Atlantic.
The inaugural World League season stumbled to life as defenses dominated the early stages, but there were enough flashes
of the offensive fireworks promised by league officials to get the pulse racing and create interest in the fledgling set-up.
The World League adventure began in Frankfurt, Germany, where the hometown Galaxy played host to the London Monarchs before a crowd of 23,167 at the Waldstadion. It was quite an event on and off the field as football fans in
Germany were treated to an entertainment-filled
evening. The action began before a block had even been thrown in anger as World League president
Mike Lynn touched down at midfield in a helicopter to deliver the game ball.
English kicker Phil
Alexander then launched the ball high into the air and his compatriot, national running back Victor Ebubedike, made the first
tackle of the new season to prove the league truly was going to be an international affair. What
followed was by no means pretty as both teams struggled to move the football and combined to tally just 41 yards of offense
in the first quarter. With both offenses struggling so badly, it was only fitting that the first
points in World League history should come on a safety as Galaxy defensive tackle Chris Williams burst through the Monarchs'
offensive line to drop running back Judd Garrett in the endzone. Frankfurt extended their lead in the second quarter when German kicker Stephan
Maslo kicked a 25-yard field goal to make it 5-0. Fans at the Waldstadion could have been forgiven for thinking they were
at a soccer match after a quick glance at the scoreboard. Maslo's field goal did enough to wake
the Monarchs, who had struggled for one and a half quarters under the guidance of quarterback Jon Witkowski. He
finally led the Monarchs on a 13-play, 79-yard drive which was capped by David Smith's 28-yard scoring run, which transpired
thanks to some excellent blocking up front by an offensive line unit which would become known as The Nasty Boyz. Alexander
added the conversion and the Monarchs went into the break with a 7-5 lead. The promised fireworks
emerged in the second half and it was the rejuvenated Monarchs who came out full of confidence and stormed to victory in impressive
fashion. Former San Diego Chargers wide receiver Dana Brinson gave the Monarchs the
spark they were looking for when he returned the opening kickoff 47 yards. With ex-Buffalo
Bills quarterback Stan Gelbaugh in the game for Witkowski, the Monarchs found their offensive rhythm and reeled off 17 unanswered
points. Alexander stretched London's lead to 10-5 with a 25-yard field goal
before Gelbaugh broke the game wide open with a spectacular 97-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Jon Horton while being
forced to throw out of his own endzone. Monarchs head coach Larry Kennan said of the record-setting
play: "Jon's effort was outstanding and Stan threw the ball very well, right on the money. "The Galaxy fumbled away possession on the ensuing kickoff and
London wasted no time in icing the
game and completing their 17-point third quarter. Brinson took a reverse handoff from Gelbaugh
and raced away from the Galaxy defenders, turning the corner for an 8-yard touchdown run. Alexander kicked the extra point
to complete the scoring for the Monarchs. Frankfurt mustered a consolation touchdown in the fourth quarter but couldn't prevent a 24-11 victory
for Kennan's Monarchs. The delighted
head coach said: "I'm thrilled for everyone. It's great to be here and be part of the first World League game. I'm really
proud right now tobe a London Monarch.
I love our guys, they really rallied when we were behind." Gelbaugh, who completed 10-of-16
passes for 189 yards in one half of action was very impressed with the European fans. He said: "As long as you get fan
support like we did tonight, I don't see how you can lose." Defenses dominated the remaining
two games that were played on the opening Saturday night of the inaugural season.
gained just 179 total yards but used strong defense and the kicking of Bjorn Nittmo to down the Birmingham Fire 20-5 before 52,942 fans at Legion Field. Sacramento Surge relied on a 1-yard touchdown run from Paul Frazier with 3:47 remaining in a rain-soaked affair to see off the Raleigh-Durham Skyhawks
9-3. On Sunday March 24, Barcelona Dragons overcame the New York/New Jersey
Knights 19-7, courtesy of quarterback Scott Erney's 43-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Gene Taylor, and 6-yard TD run.
The offensive performance of opening weekend came on Monday Night Football
as the Orlando Thunder edged past the San Antonio Riders 35-34 in a thriller at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Orlando's first round draft pick, quarterback Kerwin Bell, earned
the inaugural Player of the Week award by throwing for 269 yards and 5 touchdowns. The man on the receiving end of Bell's best passes was WR Byron Williams, who had
4 catches for 113 yards and 3 touchdowns. San Antonio twice rallied from 14 points down behind the passing of
Jason Garrett, and the game was only decided with 1:24 left in regulation when kicker Teddy Garcia missed an extra point attempt
that would have sent the game into overtime. After a slow start, opening weekend exploded to life with that Orlando-San
Antonio game and proved the World League would be an exciting product worthy of all the preseason hype and buildup. It
proved to be a weekend that had everything: safeties, long touchdown passes, missed extra points, close finishes and big crowds.
While many games have since been played in the World League and NFL Europe, the opening weekend of the 1991 season
will stay in the memory for a long time.
FOOTBALL; W.L.A.F. Seasoning in the Sun
By THOMAS GEORGE
Published: Sunday, May 5, 1991
There is plenty to like, said New York/New Jersey Knights receiver Cornell Burbage, about the World League
of American Football.
Burbage said the players love being in in February and out in June. Decent pay. Easily $40,000 for players who meet contract
incentives. Pressure to win. But not at all like the pressure in the National Football League. Spirit and camaraderie. Because,
Burbage and others say, so many of the athletes are enjoying football for the first time in their up-and-down careers.
"The N.F.L. is my goal and it's everybody's goal that's here,"
said the 26-year-old Burbage, who played at Kentucky and then two seasons with the Dallas Cowboys before signing last year
as a Plan B free agent with the Minnesota Vikings, who cut him in training camp. "They're talking about raising the salaries
here next year but most of the guys don't want to be back here next year. I'd say 90 percent are like me and want to get back
to their dream, to the N.F.L." Choosing the Players
It is also giving N.F.L. teams
another way to add depth to their rosters, and correct mistakes made in evaluating players. It also, by N.F.L. standards,
offers cheap labor.
"We did not go after the player who was right out of college but
the ones who had some type of N.F.L. experience, the kid who teams felt had the talent but needed more time to develop,"
said Jerry Vainisi, the W.L.A.F. vice president of football management.
of all the college senior players, 3,000 are evaluated; 1,000 receive grades; 336 are actually drafted and 150 actually make
N.F.L. teams. That's 2,850 players available in each of the last couple of years and room for a lot of mistakes. We've got
360 players now in our league and I'd expect a third of them will sign with N.F.L. teams after our season."
That's 120 additional players for N.F.L. teams to scout and scour in training camps this summer. After the
World Bowl -- the new league's championship game -- in London on June 9, all players in the World League are free to sign
with any N.F.L. team. Compensation falls into two categories: for those who signed with the W.L.A.F. before Jan. 15, 1991
and those who signed afterward. The date was chosen to encourage players to sign with the W.L.A.F. The Rules on Signing
If a W.L.A.F. player who signed before Jan. 15 later signs with an N.F.L. team as a free agent and remains
under contract with that team after Feb. 1, 1992, his rights are released to that team by the W.L.A.F. If he does not remain
signed past Feb. 1, he owes the World League a two-year option on his playing rights.
the player who signed with the W.L.A.F. after Jan. 15, the N.F.L. team that signs him must pay a lump sum double his base
salary, with one-third of the money allotted to the player, one-third to the W.L.A.F. and one-third to his W.L.A.F. team.
His rights are then released to his N.F.L. team, which would then negotiate a contract. The same rules apply in each case
for players who might sign with the Canadian Football League.
Each N.F.L. team is allowed
to send four players to the W.L.A.F. during the N.F.L. off season, but only the Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints
did so, sending two apiece. The four are being paid the same base salary as any other W.L.A.F. players, along with incentive
"It's been a mixed bag, something the N.F.L. is trying to work out, on what
is here worth taking and should they be sending guys here for more work," Vainisi said. "Most teams wanted to keep
their players away because of the injury factor. Others weren't sure of the style and caliber of play and if the league would
help them. But I think we've answered the skeptics."
Chiefs quarterback Mike Elkins
(Sacramento) and linebacker Tracey Simien (Montreal) and Saints cornerback Calvin Nickleson (San Antonio) and offensive lineman
Bobby Sign (Barcelona) are the four N.F.L. players competing in the World League. Playing for 'All the Right Reasons'
"Marty Schottenheimer called me at home in North Carolina in January and explained that this was a chance
for me to get some work in the off season that couldn't be duplicated," said Elkins, who was drafted by Kansas City in
1989 but has played sparingly.
"I understand what a lot of these guys here have been
through in the N.F.L. You work on the scout teams in practice and in the preseason you might get five or six minutes or a
quarter. That's too little time to show what you can do.
"Here you have a lot of guys
playing the game for all the right reasons. They're having a lot of fun and they're putting out as much intensity as the guys
in the big leagues. I see a lot of guys, talented people, who are going to develop in the right situation in the N.F.L."
"In our business," said Larry Wilson, the Phoenix Cardinals' general manager, "team preparation
dictates that you don't get to spend as much time evaluating the players in training camp as you'd like. This is an excellent
way for the ones on the bubble to show their abilities. There are guys there that fit needs of certain teams who are going
to get a shot this summer. And, hey, if they're making $20,000, we'd gladly offer 'em $40,000."
WLAF Expects to Expand in 1992; One Team Might Be in NFL City
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — The World League
of American Football will add at least two teams next season, and there is a good chance one will be located in a city with
an NFL team, WLAF Commissioner Mike Lynn said Wednesday.
Lynn said there is a possibility
the league could add four teams and expand to 14 teams next season.
May 27, 1991
League sets weekend average attendance record of 35,035
as regular season concludes.
June 9, 1991
A sellout crowd of 61,108 sees the London Monarchs defeat the Barcelona Dragons 21-0 at Wembley Stadium in
London in World Bowl '91.
July 30, 1991
Mike Lynn, under whose stewardship the WLAF launched its inaugural season, resigns as President of the League
to devote full time to his ownership duties with the Minnesota Vikings.
FOOTBALL: NOTEBOOK; Initials For W.L.A.F. May Soon Be R.I.P.
By TIMOTHY W. SMITH
Sunday, August 25, 1991
The World League of American Football could be facing extinction if supporters among the National Football
League owners can't appease other owners, who aren't happy that the spring league lost nearly $7 million in its inaugural
N.F.L. owners met in Dallas last Wednesday
to discuss the future of the W.L.A.F. They left the meeting uncertain about where the league is headed. The options discussed
included continuing with the league in its current form, moving teams to larger television markets, suspending play for a
year to reorganize or folding the league altogether.
It's my guess it's going down the
chute," said one N.F.L. owner, who spoke on the condition that he not be identified. "It was much more of a financial
failure than anybody realized it would be. And there doesn't appear to be any light at the end of the tunnel."
The World League is supported by the 26 N.F.L. clubs that invested $13 million to start the league and pledged
another $15 million line of credit for its operation in May. Chicago and Phoenix are the two clubs that have never supported
the World League.
Dan Rooney, the Pittsburgh Steelers' president and N.F.L. chairman for
the World League, said that while the estimates on the cost of operating the league were "right on the mark," the
estimates on how much revenue it would be generate were not accurate.
None of the league's
10 teams made a profit.
Reggie Williams, general manager of the New York/New Jersey Knights,
said the league would survive, despite rumors of its demise.
"All new businesses,
all new leagues go through a metamorphosis," Williams said. "There will probably be changes. But those changes will
make the league stronger. The concept is very sound."
The biggest question facing
the World League is whether ABC and the USA Network will continue to support the league beyond their two-year contracts.
The World League games on the USA Network averaged a 1.2 rating (646,000 television households) on the games
that started at 8 P.M. and averaged a 0.8 rating (430,000 households) for the games starting at 2 P.M. One rating point for
cable represents 567,000 households.
Mary Lou O'Callaghan, USA Network vice president of
corporate and news media relations, said the cable network will honor the final year its contract. But she said the contract
between the W.L.A.F. and USA would be void if the league is radically altered. ABC officials were unavailable for comment
Rob Correa, USA Network director of sports acquisitions, said the network lost
money on the World League. He would not say how much.
Correa said trying to line up advertisers
for World League games will be tougher next season because of the low ratings.
bottom line in any television show is you have to give people a reason to watch," Correa said. He believes the league
suffered from overexposure on television last year and needs to have some identifiable N.F.L. stars to increase its appeal
Rooney said that between now and Sept. 12, members of the World League board
of directors will meet with television executives, World League team owners and N.F.L. owners in an attempt to find a way
to save the league. He doesn't expect a hard fight with the N.F.L. owners to keep the league afloat.
a lot of room for improvement," Rooney said. "But every new league that starts up takes time to become successful.
People don't remember how the N.F.L. got started. It was tough. Look at the American Football League. That product didn't
improve until the second or third year."
For the first time, the N.F.L. has secured
a line of credit worth about $300 million from two banks, Citibank and NCNB Corporation, so that teams can refinance existing
debt. Ten teams have said that they will use the line of credit.
The banks were willing
to give the league low interest rates because the risk is spread among more than one borrower.
of the teams, which were purchased in recent years, will be using the loans to refinance the huge debts that the owners incurred
to acquire the clubs.
Joe Browne, N.F.L. vice president of communications and development,
said the credit line is not a sign that some teams are in financial trouble. "We pool our resources to buy tape, airline
tickets and rent cars," Browne said. "Why not pool our resources to get our money cheaper?"
Under the deal, each team will be able to borrow as much as $35 million, or the debt ceiling that has been
established by the N.F.L. for each club. The collateral for the clubs' loans will be each team's annual share of the league's
four-year, $3.64 billion television contract, which is about $32.5 million per club.
television contract expires in February 1994 and the credit line also ends into 1994. There is concern on the part of some
N.F.L. owners that the line of credit could encourage teams to go deeper into debt and lead to future bankruptcies. If the
next television contract provides less money than the present one and teams have set a pattern of spending up to the debt
ceiling, then some owners could be faced with cutting costs or going bankrupt.
can't predict what will happen in 1994," said Thomas Sullivan, the league's treasurer. "If the advertising market
turns around and the European markets start to boom, who knows what the next television contract will be worth. It's so speculative
that we can't address that right now."
squads have been approved again for N.F.L. teams this season, after an agreement between the league and a group of attorneys
representing players who filed a lawsuit against the N.F.L. Each team will have three to five inactive players at a minimum
salary of $3,200 a week ($200 more than last year). Teams must spend a minimum of $280,000 and a maximum of $375,000.
September 1, 1991
The NFL begins its 72nd season with 29 WLAF players on its
active, practice or injured-reserved squads.
October 23, 1991
The NFL approves a three-year financial plan for the WLAF, which now will play a key part in the
newly formed NFL-International division. All 28 NFL clubs will now share equally in supporting the WLAF. Additionally,
ABC Sports announces the it has agreed to a new three-year contract to carry WLAF games each Sunday through 1994. THe
League reveals that it will field 10 teams in 1992 and expand by four teams in the next three years, adding two franchises
in both 1993 and 1994.
Huyghue, General Manager of the North American West Division winning Birmingham Fire, is named Vice President of Administraton
and General Counsel of the WLAF.
November 26, 1991
Columbus, Ohio, a burgeoning U.S. market with a rich American football tradition, is awarded the first expansion
franchise in WLAF history. Peter Hadhazy, former Cleveland Browns' General Manager and NFL executive, is named the team's
M. Regan, Jr., the League's Vice President of Finance, is appointed Vice President of European Operations, to be based in
League's new franchise from Columbus, Ohio, announces their new name, the "Ohio Glory".
December 20, 1991
Montreal, which celebrates its 350th anniversary in 1992,
is awarded World Bowl '92 to be played on June 6.